Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) - For Restoring Aging, Delicate, and Damaged Skin
Gently Dissolves Dead Skin Cells and Fosters Cellular Turnover
Alpha-Hydroxy Acids gently remove dead skin cells on the surface of the skin by dissolving them, which stimulates cellular turnover. These means AHAs are useful for fading sunspots and age-related discoloration; firming the skin; avoiding acne; and reducing wrinkles and fine lines.
Even better, your other skin care products—moisturizers, serums, etc.—will be far more effective on skin that has been properly exfoliated. Glycolic Acid is a very popular AHA because of its smaller molecular structure. Derived from sugar cane, it is able to penetrate the skin and break up the sticky bonds between dead skin cells so that you can be rid of those pesky, dulling creatures for good—or at least until the next time you exfoliate. Lactic Acid is similarly useful. Cleopatra bathed in sour milk for softer, smoother skin, and we know why: it’s helpful in inhibiting the production of melanin (to reduce discoloration) while exfoliating and hydrating the skin.
Research on the uses and efficacy of AHAs is extensive and has suggested they can:
- Promote collagen production and blood flow
- Correct discoloration from scars and age spots
- Improve appearance of surface lines and wrinkles
- Prevent acne breakouts
- Brighten your complexion
AHAs quicken the natural restorative process which removes dead skin cells and encourages new skin cell generation. As you age, your natural skin cell cycle slows down, which can make dead skin cells build up. When you have too many dead skin cells, they can accumulate and make your complexion look dull. Dead skin cell accumulation can also enhance other underlying skin issues, such as: wrinkles, age spots, and acne.
VISIBLY BRIGHTENS SKIN
When these acids exfoliate your skin, dead skin cells are broken down. The new skin revealed beneath is brighter and more radiant.
PROMOTES COLLAGEN PRODUCTION
Collagen is a protein-rich fiber that helps keep skin plump and smooth. As you age, these fibers break down. Sun damage may also accelerate collagen destruction. This can result in sallow, sagging skin. Collagen itself is in the middle layer of your skin (dermis). AHAs may help promote collagen production by destroying old collagen fibers to make way for new ones.
REDUCES APPEARANCE OF LINES AND WRINKLES
In a 2015 study, 9 out of 10 volunteers who used AHAs over a three-week period experienced significant improvements in overall skin texture.
PROMOTE BLOOD FLOW
AHAs have anti-inflammatory properties that can help promote blood flow to the skin. This can help correct pale, dull complexions. Proper blood flow also ensures that skin cells get the necessary nutrients needed via oxygen-rich red blood cells.
MINIMIZE AND CORRECT DISCOLORATION
Your risk for skin discoloration increases with age. Flat brown spots, known as age spots (lentigines), may develop as a result of sun exposure. They tend to develop on areas of the body that are exposed to the sun most often, such as your chest, hands, and face. AHAs promote skin cell turnover. New skin cells are evenly pigmented. Long-term use of AHAs may reduce skin discoloration by encouraging the old, discolored skin cells to turn over.